Photo: Romelu Lukaku has now scored in a record nine straight Europa League matches (Getty Images)
Inter Milan and Manchester United both scored narrow wins over Bayer Leverkusen and FC Copenhagen respectively, to advance to the semifinals of the Europa League on Monday. Both teams will know their semifinal opponents after the playing of the other quarterfinal today.
Inter Milan scoring machine Romelu Lukakau was among the goals again on Monday as he scored his 9th consecutive goal in the competition as his team ran out 2-1 winners over Bayer Leverkusen at the Dusseldorf Arena.
Inter got the breakthrough after only 15 minutes when Nicola Barella found the back of the net and they appeared to be running away with the match when Lukaku added a second just six minutes later.
But Leverkusen stormed back into the contest when Kai Havertz, who is high on Frank Lampard’s list, cut the deficit to one, in the 24th minute.
Inter were denied two penalty appeals by VAR and Lukaku was denied what appeared to be a legitimate goal late on, but none of that mattered as the Italians advanced to the semifinals
Inter will face the winner of the game between Shakhtar Donetsk and Basel.
The other quarterfinal proved to be a lot more competitive than anticipated as Copenhagen threatened to upset the more fancied Manchester United.
It took an extra time penalty to separate the teams when Bruno Fernandes scored from twelve yards in the 95th minute, after Anthony Martial had been brought down inside the box.
Man-of-the-match Karl-Johan Johnsson had an outstanding game between the sticks for Copenhagen as he thwarted the Manchester United strikers.
United looked tentative at the start and lacked the fluidity that and come to mark their play in recent weeks.
United thought they had taken the lead when Mason Greenwood scored on the stroke of half time, only for the effort to be chalked off after a VAR revue for offside.
Bruno Fernandes struck the base of the post shortly after the restart, as Copenhagen continued to ride their luck.
Greenwood also hit the post much to the frustration of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men.
The Danish champions continued to remain in the contest despite not giving United keeper Sergio Romero much to do.
At the end of 90 minutes it was still anyone’s game, but United then had the deserved breakthrough five minutes into the additional time.
United will face the winner of the Wolves and Sevilla quarterfinal that will be played today at the Dusseldorf Arena.